For the last couple of years, Toby Cleary has been undergoing chemotherapy.
He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer just six months before he and his wife, Danielle, got married.
Toby applied for a $25,000 critical illness benefit through his insurer, Manulife, but was denied — all because he forgot to mention an emergency room visit four years ago.
“The doctor that I saw at the ER basically kinda laughed, chuckled at me and said, ‘you know what, there’s a little bit of blood in the toilet… I get 10 of these a day and everyone comes in here thinking that they are dying and they’re not,’” Cleary said.
Get the latest Health IQ news.Sent to your email, every week.
“He says, ‘you’re totally fine. don’t panic don’t freak out.’ It was a hemorrhoid.”
In a rejection letter, Manulife said Toby was required to disclose any illness, disorder, injury, operation or treatment when he was applying for the new policy, adding they wouldn’t have issued the new policy “without understanding the site and cause of the bleed.”
“There’s no possible way I could have had cancer during that time and hid it. How could I have hid it from my doctors? How can I hide cancer for two years? It’s impossible and especially untreated,” Clearly told Global News.
Canadians could see changes in banking next year. What to expect
What’s open and closed in Canada on New Year’s Day 2024
His doctor also wrote a letter to Manulife about the 2019 ER visit adding that the bleeding “most likely was not related to his colorectal cancer diagnosis as it is quite unusual for a person to have just one episode of bleeding in a period of nearly two years if there is underlying colorectal cancer.”
Cleary, a former fitness instructor, has exhausted the appeal process with Manulife.
“Some little tiny slip and we are being punished in a heartless way… just absolutely heartless. I can’t understand,” Cleary said
Cleary and his wife are now hoping to raise money for chemotherapy not fully covered in B.C .